LOS ANGELES — In the most unpredictable awards season in recent history, the Golden Globes did its part Sunday to muddy the waters by honoring a wide range of TV and film work, including some genuine shockers.
Frontier survival epic “The Revenant” took its place as Oscar front-runner with three major wins, including best drama, best director Alejandro González Iñárritu and best actor Leonardo DiCaprio, who now has three Globes but has yet to take home an Academy Award.
“The Martian” was the other significant player, with hardware going to Matt Damon and to the film itself, although that may have more to do with the blockbuster competing in the comedy category, a decision that seemed to puzzle even director Ridley Scott. Two awards-season favorites, “Spotlight” and “Carol,” were shut out (with three and five nods, respectively).
Pixar writer/director Pete Docter is a local boy done good — and he did particularly well Sunday. The Bloomington native accepted the statue for animated feature film for the hit “Inside Out,” which seems a lock for an Oscar.
“When I was in junior high, literally, my goal was to make it through the day without no one noticing me. Obviously, something went horribly wrong tonight,” said Docter, who also won a Golden Globe (and the Oscar) for 2010’s “Up.”
The state of other races remains fuzzy. Brie Larson won a best-actress award for “Room,” a smaller film about a woman held captive with her 5-year-old son for years. Perhaps Larson’s win is an indication that “Carol” stars Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara will split votes all the way down the stretch.
In addition, “Steve Jobs,” a film that disappointed at the box office, got love for Aaron Sorkin (best screenplay) and Kate Winslet (best supporting actress).
Jennifer Lawrence, already a veteran at the age of 25, was honored for “Joy” despite mixed reviews for the film, further evidence that members of the Hollywood Foreign Press were more excited about the prospect of her acceptance speech than in celebrating the best talent.
The same explains the nod to Lady Gaga for her turn in “American Horror Story: Hotel.” Perhaps they expected her to accept in a golden-egg carriage?
Neither woman came through. In fact, while most winners went through the motions of expressing surprise, few actually showed it.
Sylvester Stallone should have reveled in his sentimental win for reprising Rocky Balboa for the sixth time in “Creed,” shuffling to the stage to the sounds of the night’s most enthusiastic ovation. Instead, he followed the pattern of all the film winners by reacting as if he was stepping up to the counter to retrieve Chinese takeout.
TV winners to the rescue
Thank goodness for the TV categories. Despite being relegated to the back of the Beverly Hilton, most winners seemed to savor the recognition, especially Rachel Bloom, recognized for her work as the star of CW’s “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” the lowest-rated prime-time show on network TV.
That upset was only upstaged by Amazon’s “Mozart in the Jungle,” which won for best comedy and lead actor Gael García Bernal. USA’s “Mr. Robot” also confounded oddsmakers with a victory for best drama and one for Christian Slater, whose past association with the award circuit has been relegated to his killer impersonation of Jack Nicholson.
Barbs and bleeps
Not so shocking was Ricky Gervais’ approach to hosting, aimed at getting the star-studded audience members to choke on their Champagne. He did not disappoint.
Barbs directed at Bill Cosby, Sean Penn, Mel Gibson and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association mostly scored, although several bits were bleeped due to their off-color nature.
In fact, the Globes should consider giving the network censor an honorary award next year for sweating out the three-hour ceremony, hitting the mute button on Jonah Hill, Mark Wahlberg and “Blindspot” actress Jaimie Alexander, who blew her top after a teleprompter mishap.
Relax, Gervais said throughout the broadcast. The Globes don’t really mean anything. Thursday’s announcement of Oscar nominees will tell us whether or not he’s right.